Friday, November 11, 2016

Review of Waltzing Mechanics' Cosmic Events Are Upon Us.

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Cosmic Events Are Upon Us. It was written and directed by Keely Leonard. The play centered itself on the Romanovs who were the family of the last Tsar of Russia, Nicholas II (Lew Wallace), and the stress they were under and how loving they were with each other. It shows you that just because they're rich and powerful it doesn’t mean they are not real people. It is about how revolution can be a great thing, but it can also be corrupt, and how somebody can be the head of a corrupt royal government without really understanding that it is corrupt. I think they used the space really well by setting each act in a different place in the room. It has a great story and it moved me to tears, but it wasn’t all the way a sad play; it was also really beautiful and funny. I really really loved this show.

There were many very sweet scenes with the family. The Romanov family didn't seem like haughty rich people, but they did do some awful things to the people of Russia. The family had nicknames for each other, which I thought was very cute, and I'm reading a book about the Romanovs right now, so I know that it was all true. Alix (Adrienne Matzen), the mom, her nickname was Sunny. Olga (Julia MacMillan) and Tatiana (Gloria Petrelli) were the big pair, and Maria (Elena Feliz) and Anastasia (Chloe Dzielak) were the little pair. At the Beginning of the second act Alexei (Tanner Walters), their only boy and the youngest, is running around trying to get away from his caretakers Derevenko (Bob Pantalone) and Nagorny (Zack Florent). They are so loving to this kid that they are constantly trying to keep from dying from his internal bleeding caused by his hemophilia. It is so sweet because they really just have to protect him but they start to become friends with him. And the sisters are running around with the brother and playing games even if they feel like it is babyish. Doctor Botkin (Maximillian LaPine) also became friends with the family and he would talk about his kids and the nice thing was that even when everything started to go wrong, they still kept the sense of family, even with people who weren't actually family. I felt like having this scene made the last scene even more devastating because you got to see how good of people they could be and how dedicated to them the people who served them were.

Rasputin (Martin Monahan) was a very “interesting” man. He had a lot of girls; you might say he was a ladies' priest. (Thank you. I’m here all week). But he was a “man of God” and could heal the Romanovs’ child Alexei. So he could be useful if he tried! He was also suspected of having an affair with Alix, the Tsar’s wife. It may have been a coincidence that he could always heal the Romanovs’ heir, but we will never know for sure whether it was a miracle and I thought that was a cool mystery. When the actor playing Rasputin was not in character he was just acting drunk all the time. And when he was in character he was the perfect Rasputin because he was drunk! I thought the purposeful breaking character was a great element to the play because it added more humanity because it shows how human Rasputin actually was because he was just like a modern day douche. When Rasputin was not the drunk priest but the drunk actor he interacted with The Messenger (Tim Lueke) all the time. The Messenger was basically a narrator/actor who played a bunch of roles and would go in and out of character with them. I thought that was a great way to get parts of the story you may not know across. I also really liked how everyone in the show still acted like he was a character when he was a character and how it wasn't confusing when all the people in the show, except the family, played different characters because they were so well defined.

Just because this is a play about the Romanovs, it doesn't have to be sad all the time, just like the Romanovs' lives weren't always sad. There was one scene where some Russian people were all gathered around to hear the canons that would go off whenever any of the Tsar's children were born. There were a lot of canons so you had to be counting to figure out the sex of the baby. It depended on the number of cannon shots. They were all listening and whenever it was a girl everyone would get very disappointed a be like, "Aw. Another girl. Dang it." And once they got to the third girl, they were like "Seriously?!" and using modern language to express their anger. I thought the way they did that was hilarious. Also, the way the Tsar announced the sex was sort of tedious and ridiculous. They could have just done 50 canons for a boy and 40 for a girl and that would have been not deafening to all of the villagers. I found the killing of Rasputin quite comedic actually. I was not expecting to, but they all had these cult caps to show that they were going to kill Rasputin. Two of them (Lueke and Lapine) were absolutely infatuated with each other. I thought that was a very funny plot point and also something cool about history. The group had plans to poison him but then they got tired of poisoning him, so they just shot him, which was an easier and funnier alternative. There was also a Stalin puppet (Zach Bundy) and he attracted the ladies despite his socki-ness. You know that Stalin turns into a pretty awful person and he kills a lot people who helped him, including, indirectly, his wife (Emily Demko). The funniness was kind of undercut because you know how awful this person becomes. The lighthearted mixed with the tragic was great for this show because you don't want everybody to be sad the entire time even if they know what is coming.

People who would like this show are people who like little pairs and big pairs, assassinating ladies' priests, and sock-y Stalin. People should definitely go see this show. It is awesome to watch and I really enjoyed it.

Photos: Tyler Core

No comments: